12 May 2015

Jasmine in Genoa

GENOA AIRPORT, Genoa, Italy—The scent of jasmine hung in the heavy, humid coastal air of Genoa. It was especially pleasant in the morning, when the flowers were opening, and was still in evidence as the sun went down. However, not everyone enjoys this. Many locals are allergic to the pollen. During my time here, the offices around me at the University of Genoa echoed to the sounds of repeated sneezing and Italian cursing.

This was my second visit here this year, and the weather was superb. Lemons were growing within reach of my window, and I was very tempted to slice one up for a gin and tonic. My 10k training finished at the sea front on the famous Corsa Italia, and I am now resting my 59-year-old legs before a race this weekend. Climbing, including indoors, has been neglected lately due to running.

The view from my window in Genoa.
My work at the University of Genoa with colleagues in the school of nursing continues to focus on the doctoral students with whom I am working on a rapid evidence assessment. These are not full-time students. Few live locally, and they meet only a few times yearly. Working hard at a distance, they retrieved and filtered some useful literature down to a few items that will form the basis of an excellent review paper, the topic of which will be revealed nearer to the time of submission. I averted a collective crisis of confidence, as they had convinced themselves that they needed to scrap what they were doing and start again. They are now back on track, and my visit, in this regard, was useful. Otherwise, I advised colleagues on their publication plans and research projects.

A new honor society?
I was asked about membership in the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) by one of the faculty who believes this would be a good thing for Italian nurses. I agreed, given that there is no Italian chapter and no Italian members that I know of. They were astounded when, within minutes, I put them in contact by Twitter with STTI President Hester C. Klopper, PhD, MBA, RN, RM, FANSA, —who replied—and by email with Elizabeth Rosser, DPhil, president of Phi Mu Chapter in England. I see from my email trail that they already have advice from Rosser on how to join and set up a society here. As the saying goes, “Watch this space.”

News arrived from a journal editor that a major manuscript, which I have been leading and which has already graced the editorial desks—briefly—of three other journals, has been rejected again. I had to heed my own advice about not corresponding with editors over rejections and simply to take any good advice on board and submit elsewhere.

Yours Truly tames the Ducati Monster in Genoa.
My co-authors, both much younger than me, kept me on track, but we were all astonished at a comment from one reviewer that defied all logic with regard to the method we were using and the principles we were addressing. Still, the experience was useful as, when I was taking a class with the master’s students in Genoa on scientific writing, I was able to say that I had just been rejected and was in the process of applying my fourth rule of writing: treat a rejection as the start of the next submission.

I don’t leave the UK until the end of the month, when I visit Bahrain and the fledgling Rufaida Honor Society at the RCSI-Medical University of Bahrain. Before then, I will be participating in an online series of lectures for International Nurses Day and presenting on “Global issues facing nursing” before travelling to London to take part in a forum at the headquarters of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom. The following week is spent mostly in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I will examine a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, give a presentation on research assessment at Edinburgh Napier University, and meet a research collaborator at Heriot Watt University. Between those sessions, I will catch up with as many colleagues as possible.

I mentioned in my last entry that my daughter was taking part in an international street dancing competition in Florida. Her team won, as did the junior team from her dance club, so that was a memorable visit to the United States. I’m also glad to report that the long-suffering Mrs. Watson and her itinerant husband will be taking a holiday in New York City in July. I have never visited NYC, although my wife has, and this will be her turn to show me around a foreign city.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Comments are moderated. Those that promote products or services will not be posted.

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